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Review of ANA’s business class service from London – Tokyo Haneda (Part Two)

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This is the second part of my review of the ANA’s Business Class service between London Heathrow and Tokyo Haneda.

Part One, which looked at the seating and IFE, is here.  This is Part Two which is focusing on the food and drink on offer.

ANA business class review London Heathrow Tokyo Haneda

Once settled in my seat I was offered a drink (orange juice or sparkling wine) by one of the very friendly flight attendants.

We were given a food and drink menu and had the choice of either Japanese or International cuisine.

The drinks menu had everything from a selection of red and white wines to sake, shochu and umeshu.  There was only one Japanese Whisky which was slightly disappointing. The champagne served was Canard Duchene Cuvee Leonie Brut which retails in the UK for £27 and is not exactly a premium brand.

ANA business class review London Heathrow Tokyo Haneda

On my outbound flight I chose the International Cuisine option.  It came with an amuse bouche:

ANA business class review London Heathrow Tokyo Haneda

The starter was a terrine and smoked salmon rillettes rolls served with bread rolls and corn soup.

ANA business class review London Heathrow Tokyo Haneda

As my main I chose the fillet of beef steak with morel mushroom cream sauce. Unfortunately it was rather rare and I do prefer my steak less bloody. The sauce was very tasty though.

ANA business class review London Heathrow Tokyo Haneda

I chose a tasty lemon tart for dessert. The other options were chocolate and salted caramel cake, cheese and fruits.

ANA business class review London Heathrow Tokyo Haneda

The only issue I had with my meal on the outbound flight was the time it took to be served.  I was already pretty tired when I boarded the plane and would have loved to go to sleep pretty soon after, but the dining service took about two hours and it seemed an age from take off until the lights were turned off.

Breakfast the next morning was a vegetable frittata with tomato braised kidney beans and broccoli as well as yoghurt, a croissant and a bread roll with jam.

ANA business class review London Heathrow Tokyo Haneda

On my inbound flight I pre-ordered the vegetarian menu. I used to be vegetarian (until bacon happened) and thought I’d see how ANA interprets vegetarian cuisine.

I had a pastry appetizer.

ANA business class review London Heathrow Tokyo Haneda

The starter was half an avocado with ratatouille and vegetables. I’m slightly obsessed with avocados and was rather happy with this option.

ANA business class review London Heathrow Tokyo Haneda

Now, the main dish was interesting.

Tagliatelle with a creamy mushroom sauce and a very doughy dumpling on top. The pasta sauce worked well, but the dumpling was a bit salty and I didn’t really understand what it was doing on top of the pasta in the first place.

ANA business class review London Heathrow Tokyo Haneda

I was hoping for a nice chocolate desert, but for some reason the vegetarian menu included a small bowl of fruit. I’m sure I could have asked for a different dessert, but took it as a sign and ate the fruit.

My breakfast on the way into Heathrow was a potato pancake with fried eggs, lentils and vegetables which worked well.

ANA business class review London Heathrow Tokyo Haneda

Just before we landed I had another coffee whilst watching BBC News.

ANA business class review London Heathrow Tokyo Haneda

Conclusion

To be honest I don’t look forward to being in the air for 12 hours, even with a Business Class seat, but ANA did a good job at making this flight pleasant.

The cabin crew was very attentive and friendly. After boarding they came around introducing themselves, asking how I’d like to be adressed and to discuss the menu. I loved how they kept exchanging my empty water bottles for full ones throughout the night without me having to ask them for it.

There were a few small communication issues with the Japanese crew during my two flights but nothing major, and no worse than I have had with Middle Eastern airlines.

The seats on both flights were very comfortable with a good amount of storage space and the staggered seat configuration gave enough privacy. I’d happily choose ANA’s Business Class over British Airways Club World.

If you are interested in trying ANA’s Business Class as a mileage redemption, you can use either Star Alliance miles or – at a very attractive rate – Virgin Flying Club.  We discussed how to do this in an article yesterday.

There is another article in this series to come tomorrow which looks at ANA’s impressive lounge in Tokyo Haneda.

Thanks to the ANA team in London for their help in putting this trip together.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Review of ANA's business class service from London - Tokyo Haneda
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Comments

  1. NigelM says:

    As above, thanks for reviewing the vegetarian option – thoughtful and rarely done.

    • Mzungu says:

      “…rarely done” – like the steak on the outbound!

    • Jordan D says:

      Business Traveller nearly always do vegetarian options, because one of their main correspondents is vegetarian … which means reviews of insipid and dull meals.

  2. D1865 says:

    Only slightly OT – RE: Avios redemptions to Japan.

    I am planning a trip in Summer 2018 to Japan in CW, using a 2-4-1. This would be my first redemption, so I am quite unfamiliar with how far in advance flights must be booked. Assuming I wanted to go ~July 2018, when would I need to book by to ensure availability?

    I’m happy to do flexible in a similar manner to Rob’s Asia trip. With that in mind, how far in advance would a CW 2-4-1 booking need to be made for Seoul/Beijing/Shanghai/HK/Chengdu? Are there any data points on this anywhere?

    Thanks,

    D

    • NigelM says:

      We found good availability (as you will if you look at the availability checker) – remember BA flies to both Narita (Dreamliner) and Haneda, so there are 2 Tokyo options, and that F is also available. 🙂

      • Curious says:

        I can no longer locate the link to “that” availability checker anymore – any ideas? Thanks

    • Genghis says:

      BA reward availability becomes available 355 days before departure at GMT midnight (BST 1am) so for July 18 departures you’d be looking at end of July 17 / Aug 17.

      If you know your dates and they are locked in, my advice would be to book as soon as availability has opened up. Book the outbound once released and apply your voucher online and then when the return becomes available, either call up to book or do it online (if you have sufficient avios) and cancel and add to 241 in the morning (I did the latter in Feb). However, Tokyo often has really good availability.

      I would question though why you would want to go in July? July weather is not the best – wet and humid!

      • NigelM says:

        Good point re July – a Japanese friend told us to actively avoid the summer in Tokyo.

    • We booked in November for peak Easter dates.

    • Gavin says:

      BA no longer fly to Chengdu by the way

      I found Seoul hot and humid enough after Chuseok last year in late September – I would not want to be there in July! Similarly all my Japanese colleagues at work tell me how much they dislike the summer months, and how the UK summer is bliss in comparison

  3. Mr Cinnamon says:

    I have flown ANA on this route in J (I am in Tokyo now, but flew out with BA First this time, which despite others comments, IS better than ANA Business).

    The food above looks dreadful on the Inbound flight. I ate the Japanese menu on both my ANA flights and it was superb. You really missed out with your choices above.

  4. D1865 says:

    Thanks all. Unfortunately I will not have enough points to book at the 355 day limit, so I will have to wait until a later date – hence the worry about when availability decreases.

    RE: July, this is due to work/university commitments for myself and my girlfriend. I’ve been to the Far East for the past 2 years at a similar time and not found it to be an issue. Of course this is a personal preference, and I assume I’m rather uncommon in not minding extreme heat/humidity. I would recommend a bowl of Naengmyeon for anyone who struggles with the heat in Seoul.

    It is disappointing to hear about Chengdu (looks like I have been using an old version of BA routes). I have been meaning to visit, but it’s hard to pop in/out given its location.

  5. Is it just me or is the recycled paper napkin on the side just naff?

    • the real harry1 says:

      pretty minor in the grand scheme of things – shouldn’t it be crisply ironed & starched white linen, though? 🙂

      that veggie food really looks poor – in the ‘good old days’ I often used to go for the BA veggie offer as I can’t stand that sweet bun in Europe – yep, going veggie was always a decent choice, it’s not difficult to make it interesting, so ANA needs to get its act together

    • I bet if there had been a milk carton it would have been upside down as well

  6. Jordan D says:

    Real shame that the Japanese options didn’t get reviewed. JAL’s Japanese food is amongst the finest things I’ve eaten on an aircraft, so seeing what ANA could do would have been lovely.

  7. John Small says:

    The reason you did not get a chocolate cake with your vegetarian meal is that most desert toppings, sauces or creams contain animal fats. That’s why it is usually a bowl of fruit.

  8. Curious says:

    “There was only one Japanese Whisky which was slightly disappointing.” How exactly should we read this? Surely you can see this could be interpreted in two differing ways.

    The fact that only one was on offer, or that you tried the sole option and you didn’t like it?

    Indeed, what was the sole Japanese whisky on offer? If only one existed, surely it wouldn’t be onerous to inform us which one it was? I would be happy for only one option if that one option is good quality, which most Japanese whiskies are.

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